BURBANK — So far this season, the Burroughs High softball program had operated without star senior pitcher Presley Miraglia, who was the best pitcher in the Pacific League last season and the 2016 All-Area Softball Player of the Year. However, that all changed when the Indians hosted Arcadia.
“Warming up I got really excited,” Miraglia said. “I was just overall so happy to be back. It just felt really good.”
Behind the pitching of Miraglia in her season debut, Burroughs earned a 3-2 Pacific League victory over the visiting Apaches Tuesday afternoon in Olive Park.
“It was my first game back, so it wasn’t the best, but it wasn’t the worst,” Miraglia said.
Miraglia did not play for the Indians for the first eight games of the season due to academic issues. She was in uniform for the Indians’ win over Muir on Thursday.
“We were just going to try and do our best [without Miraglia] and whatever happened, that was what was going to happen,” Burroughs coach Wes Tanigawa said. “We were going to ride with that, [but] Presley did what she had to do hitting the books and really focusing on what she needed to do to get back out here. [Her return] is really a blessing to us.”
In her first game of the season for Burroughs (5-3-1, 4-1 in league), Miraglia went the distance for the win, giving up seven hits along the way. The senior also struck out at least one Apache in each of her first six innings, which included a run of four straight spanning the second and third innings.
Although Miraglia went hitless against Arcadia (5-7, 2-3 in league), she reached base in the second inning when Apaches pitcher Sophia Garzona plunked her square in the back with a pitch. Garzona, a freshman, also went the distance for her team, giving up seven hits.
The Indians scored all their runs in the first two innings. In the bottom of the first, Hannah Talavera and Mia Storer started the frame with singles. With one out, Chloe Bookmeyer and Jessica Amaya hit singles to drive in Talavera and Storer, respectively.
Burroughs scored what turned out to be the home team’s final run of the night on a double by Storer down the left field line with two outs in the second that scored Memorie Munoz, who reached base on a walk.
The best defensive play of the contest was made by Storer in right field in the sixth. With a runner on first and no outs, the junior raced toward center field to snag a well hit ball on the run, preventing a sure extra-base hit.
“It’s relieving to know that if I give up a hit it’s OK because [my defense] will catch it or make a dive for it and get it,” Miraglia said. “Overall, it’s just nice to have a good [defense] behind me.”
In the final two frames, the Apaches changed their approach at the plate by being aggressive on the first pitch.
“[The Apaches] figured they’d come out and swing a little earlier,” Tanigawa said. “That’s what happened. It worked out for them, but Presley came through at key times.”
Miraglia lost the shutout in the top of the sixth inning on a run-producing double by Nicole Puente. In the seventh, Apache Caitlyn Shen swung at the first pitch of the inning for a single. Two batters later, Averi Wong swung at the first pitch of the at-bat for a single to right for the RBI and a 3-2 score. With two outs, Arcadia had runners on second and third, but Miraglia induced an infield fly out to seal the win in her first outing.
“I just need to come back even harder, practice more [and] focus on more of my pitches,” Miraglia said. “It was my first game back, but I’d like to be better than this. Just going up from here.”